Heckler & Koch Mark 23

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The Heckler & Koch Mark 23 is a semi-automatic large-frame pistol chambered in .45 ACP. It was developed for the Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) project in 1989 to standardize a pistol for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) while fitting the needs of the SOCOM. The OHWS was to be a system made of a pistol, a sound suppressor and a LAM (Laser Aiming Module), and the pistol was to be designed more as a primary weapon than as a backup, using the high-powered .45 ACP round. In August 1991, H&K and Colt were awarded with contracts for the development of the OHWS pistol.

The development involved three stages: Phase I had the manufacturers provide 30 prototype pistols, sound suppressors, and LAMs. Colt is eliminated at this phase. Phase II involved physical testing and delivery of 30 additional pistols with suppressors. Phase III involved a production contract of 1,950 OHWS systems, now classified as the MK 23 Mod 0. H&K based their design on their USP design (which would itself be introduced to the world during the development of the Mk 23, in 1993), and the pistols were delivered in 1996. The LAM and the suppressor were developed by Insight Technology and Knight's Armament Company respectively.

While the MK23 Mod 0 designation usually applies to the whole system, it is also commonly used to refer to the pistol component alone. The pistol was also sold to the civilian market, designated the Mark 23.

Heckler & Koch Mark 23 - .45 ACP. Note the "Mark 23" marking.
Heckler & Koch Mark 23 with Knight's Armament suppressor - .45 ACP
Heckler & Koch Mark 23 with desert tan frame - .45 ACP. Screen-used weapon from I Am Legend. (photo from Weapons Specialists, Ltd)
Airsoft Heckler & Koch Mk 23 Mod 0 Phase II Prototype (note front grip grooves, deleted from production models) with Tokyo Marui replica of a Knight's Armament suppressor and prototype Laser Aiming Module - (fake) .45 ACP
Heckler & Koch Mk 23 Mod 0 - .45 ACP. This is the whole system with the KAC suppressor and the Insight Technology LAM. Note the "MK23 USSOCOM Cal .45" marking.



(1996 - Present)

  • Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Weight: 2.7 lb (1.2 kg)
  • Length: 9.7 in (245 mm)
  • Barrel length: 5.9 in (150 mm)
  • Capacity: 12
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto (DA/SA)

The Heckler & Koch Mark 23 pistol appears in the following movies, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Note Date
Soldier Kurt Russell Sergeant Todd Likely first film appearance 1998
Yamakasi Special Forces 2001
Blade II Daz Crawford Lighthammer 2002
Undercover Brother Tig Fong Enforcer Possibly airsoft 2002
Tears of the Sun U.S. Navy SEALs Both Suppressed and unsuppressed 2003
District B13 Tony D'Amario K2 2004
Today You Die Jamie McShane Vincent 2005
Four Brothers Mark Wahlberg Bobby Mercer 2005
I Am Legend Will Smith Dr. Robert Neville Flat Dark Earth variant 2007
Hancock Criminal 2008
In Bruges on table 2008
Terminator Salvation Christian Bale John Connor 2009
Game of Death Wesley Snipes CIA Agent Marcus cover only, fake 2010
From Paris with Love John Travolta Charlie Wax Suppressed 2010
Maximum Conviction Steve Austin Manning 2012
Looper Joseph Gordon-Levitt Joe 2012
Bruce Willis Old Joe
Noah Segan Kid Blue deleted scene
Dikran Tulaine Canady deleted scene
Sicario Benicio del Toro Alejandro Gillick Suppressed 2015
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Dwayne Johnson Luke Hobbs 2019
Jason Statham Deckard Shaw


Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
The X-Files - Season 6 Jeremy Roberts George Vincent "Agua Mala" (S6E13) 1999
Valente Rodriguez Walter Suarez
Battlestar Galactica (2004) - Season 2 Michael Trucco Samuel Anders "Resistance" (S2E04), Phase II LAM 2004-2009
Supernatural - Season 2 Sterling K. Brown Gordon Walker "Hunted" (S2E10) 2007
Burn Notice Kent 2007 - present
Supernatural - Season 5 Jensen Ackles Dean Winchester "The End" (S5E04) 2009
Supernatural - Season 6 Jared Padalecki Sam Winchester 2010 - 2011
Breaking Bad Jonathan Banks Mike Ehrmantraut S03E03, S04E04 2010 - 2011
Supernatural - Season 7 Jared Padalecki Sam Winchester "Hello, Cruel World" (S07E02) 2011
Bullet in the Face Max Williams Gunter Vogler (S01E01) 2012
Banshee - Season 1 Hoon Lee Job stainless / episode 10 2013
Supernatural - Season 9 Jesse Hutch Crewcut "Devil May Care" (S09E02) 2013
The Walking Dead - Season 5 Andrew Lincoln Rick Grimes Suppressed 2014

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Time Crisis II "Special Handgun for VSSE Agents" with LAM unit, two-tone Phase II prototype. Holds only 9 rounds 1997
Rainbow Six HK MARK23 with optional suppressor in-game model is the USP40 1998
Metal Gear Solid SOCOM w/suppressor & LAM unit Phase II prototype 1998
Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear HK MARK23 with optional suppressor in-game model is the USP40 1999
Delta Force: Land Warrior .45 SOC/.45 SOC SD w/ LAM & optional suppressor 2000
Time Crisis II "Special Handgun for VSSE Agents" with LAM unit, two-tone Holds only 9 rounds 2001
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty SOCOM w/ LAM unit & suppressor Phase II prototype 2001
Delta Force: Task Force Dagger Mk 23 w/ laser pointer & suppressor 2002
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix US SOCOM w/ optional laser pointer, suppressor, or light 2002
Splinter Cell used by hostile NPC's 2002
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness not usable 2003
Time Crisis 3 Appear as the in-game weapon icon 2003
Project IGI 2: Covert Strike SOCOM w/ Knight's Armament Suppresor & AN/PEQ-6 laser sight 2003
Söldner: Secret Wars 2004
Aliens vs. Predator 2 M-4A4 Pistol w/ weaponlight and olive drab finish, sans threaded barrel 2004
Ghost Squad P4512 2004
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes SOCOM w/suppressor & LAM unit Phase II prototype, not final version 2004
Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow MK 23 (.45 CAL) Tritium night sights and suppressor none 2004
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising w/ LAM unit 2004
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory MK23 w/suppressor & LAM unit 2005
Time Crisis IV "Handgun" with weapon light Holds 16 rounds 2006
Rainbow Six: Vegas MK.23 w/ optional laser sight or suppressor 2006
Alliance of Valiant Arms As the "MK23 SOCOM" With AN/PEQ-6 LAM and removable silencer 2007
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 MK.23 w/ optional laser sight or suppressor Phase II prototype 2008
Dark Sector Tekna 9mm / Tekna Burst Basic version has a laser aiming module, Burst is a fictional burst-firing version with extended mag and laser module Both have "Mark 24" engraved on the slide instead of "Mark 23" 2008
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Mark 23 Mod 0 w/ suppressor & LAM unit Phase II prototype 2008
Terrorist Takedown 2: US Navy Seals Mk.23 SOCOM 2008
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 2010
Splinter Cell: Conviction MK23 w/ optional laser sight and/or suppressor Phase I prototype 2010
SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 Mk.23 Mod 0 w/ optional laser sight and/or suppressor 2010
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2010
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action "USP .45" holds only 7 rounds 2011
Assassin's Creed III w/ extended magazine 2012
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Holstered model from Metal Gear Solid 4, seen on classic and prologue Raiden 2013
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 SP M23 2017


Title Character Note Date
Cowboy Bebop ISSP bodyguards Episode "Pierrot Le Fou", fitted with a Wilcox Laser Aiming Modules 1998 - 1999
Full Metal Panic! U.S. Navy Admiral 2002 -2005
Planetes Police Futuristic variant with integrated compensator, torch and laser. 2003-2004
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Ein Fitted with suppressor and LAM 2009
Cat Planet Cuties Fitted with suppressor and LAM 2010
Aria the Scarlet Ammo Ryou Shiranui 2011
Jormungand Lehm 2012

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